University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

CLOSUP in the Classroom - Policy Analysts

CLOSUP Policy Analysts are University of Michigan students affilliated with the Center to help carry out research and analysis on a variety of state and local policy issues. These students may be employed by the Center or participate in an independent study for course credit.

After their time at the Ford School, CLOSUP Policy Analysts take their experience and expertise to positions with leading policy organizations. For example, Kristy Hartman, a CLOSUP Policy Analyst for AY2012-2013, later joined the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as an energy policy specialist and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding new policies on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado.

Current Policy Analysts are listed below. For other recent Policy Analysts, see here.

Alison Carey

Alison is conducting a comparison of frack sand mining activity and related policies in Minnesota and Wisconsin for CLOSUP’s Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. Alison is a Master student in public policy and urban planning (Class of 2016). Prior to coming to University of Michigan, Alison worked for a DC-based government consulting firm, where she performed cost-benefit analysis for federal environment and energy regulations.

Jessica D’Itri

Jessica is assisting with event coordination for CLOSUP. She is a masters student at the Ford School (Class of 2015). Prior to attending the Ford School, Jessica completed her Peace Corps service as an environmental educator in Nicaragua, in addition to having worked in the non-profit sector and as an advocate for improved cookstove technology in Uganda. She is most interested in international development and environmental advocacy.

Austin Fisher

Austin works at CLOSUP as an undergraduate research assistant on the Michigan Public Policy Survey. He is a freshman at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with plans to study Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School. Austin takes great interest in the effect of modern communications on public opinion as well as electoral reform, education policy, and urban planning.

Rachel Hampton

Rachel provides research on state oil and gas severance taxes for CLOSUP’s Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative. She recently graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan (Class of 2014), where she studied  Political Science, German,  and minored in Sustainability.   Rachel is currently studying environmental law and policy at  the University of Michigan Law School.


Prabhdeep S. Kehal

Prabhdeep is working at CLOSUP on the Michigan Public Policy Survey with data entry and coding. He is a MPP and MA Higher Education candidate (Class of 2015) at the Ford School and the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, focusing on organizational theory and management in his studies.


Heather Kirkpatrick

Heather is studying environmental and energy policy for CLOSUP. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying Program in the Environment (PitE), Earth and Environmental Sciences, and minoring in history. She is interested in both the science and the politics behind the formation of environmental and energy policies as well as the role that states play in this growing issue.


Emma Maack

Emma is working on CLOSUP's joint American –Canadian public opinion survey on Great Lakes issues. She is a dual-degree masters student at the Ford School and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (Class of 2014). Her policy interests include land and water conservation at the local-to-regional scale and poverty and social justice issues.


Sarah Mills

Sarah is conducting data analysis and research for CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative (EEPI). She is a doctoral candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan where her research focuses on the impact that wind energy projects have on farming communities. Prior to returning to graduate school, she was a program associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Science, Technology, and Sustainability; served as a consultant to the EPA's Energy Star Program; and lived and worked for two years in South Sudan.


Noelle Polaski

Noelle analyzes data and conducts research related to the Michigan Public Policy Survey. She is a ‘15 Master’s of Public Policy student and is interning at the Executive Office of Governor Snyder. Prior to attending the Ford School, Noelle was a 2011 Teach for America Corps Member in Detroit Public Schools. Noelle is interested in state and local policy, Michigan politics, education policy, and the revitalization of Detroit.


CLOSUP in the Classroom

735 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI. 48109-3091  | 
ph: 734-647-4091  | 
© 2014 Regents of the University of Michigan      
University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy